Misinformation Research Featured in National Publications

Misinformation Research Featured in National Publications

David RappDavid Rapp

Even when people know better, they often rely on inaccurate or misleading information to make future decisions. But why are we so easily influenced by false statements? 

Northwestern University Professor David Rapp’s research, which has been recently featured in several national publications, suggests that people quickly encode the inaccurate statements into memory because critical evaluation and deliberation require more mental resources. 

Later, we naturally and regularly retrieve the stored incorrect information. “If memories for what we’ve seen or heard are readily available, we tend to think we can rely on them,” Rapp said. Intriguingly, Rapp’s findings also suggest that even when people know little about a source, they still treat information from that source as credible. 

Rapp is the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence and a professor of learning sciences in Northwestern's School of Education and Social Policy. Northwestern's School of Education and Social Policy, which started the first learning sciences program in the world, offers both a master's and PhD. Learn more about the program. 

Rapp in the Media

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 3/3/17